Cover Story

Personal laws: A reality check

Print edition : September 06, 2013

A demonstration organised by a women's organisation on the International Women's Day, in Mumbai in March 2005. Photo: Paul Noronha

Participants at a meeting of the Sharia court organised by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu. Photo: by special arrangement

Shah Bano Begum. The verdict on alimony in her case was overturned by the government. Photo: The Hindu Archives

Mary Roy. The 1986 verdict in her case gave Syrian Christian women equal rights to paternal property. Photo: The Hindu Archives

Fragmentation of religious authority, greater debate and dissent within communities, and increasing literacy and awareness among women have transformed the landscape of personal laws and made the old debate over a uniform civil code largely irrelevant.

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